In this great article on Cisco’s Private Cloud: Pain and Profit we learn some of the real life lessons of one of the most successful private cloud deployments in the industry. The detail of how Cisco IT increased agility, lowered costs, and enhanced security with the use of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud for this deployment is located here. I like using Cisco IT’s experience in their journey to cloud to give us insight into what a private cloud looks like 18 months after first deployment. Morphing as planned from the first use case of Infrastructure as a Service to being an “Enterprise Store” across multiple service delivery towers is a key theme I predicted and continue to see, across many customer deployments. In the image below, we see a typical Service Taxonomy, where Cloud is just one of the icons in the total service catalog.
IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) with underlying automation is bubbling up as critical for corporate IT strategies. As IT shops increase their level of comfort with a service catalog, self service and orchestration for compute, virtualization, network, and storage; the attention shifts to other areas such as applications, virtual desktops, and other technology domains such as collaboration technologies. Let’s take a detailed look at where the Cisco IT eStore and Intelligent Automation for Cloud have gone in those 18 plus months since ignition. The home page of the eStore shows the current catalog of some key services being offered and other services being migrated over as we speak. We immediately see Virtual Desktops, and Home & Remote Access in addition the beachhead of IT Infrastructure and Platform Services
I have been with Cisco for more than 20 years and have seen incredible growth and change over these two decades – including hundreds of acquisitions that resulted in varying degrees of success for our business. With this recent Cloupia acquisition being strategic to data center management, I thought this would be an opportune time to lend my voice, create a blog, and join the conversation. The increasingly rapid rate of change for data center technology makes this ripe for many interesting blogs, and I hope will spur some commentary from readers. I may have to occasionally throw in some mention of the New York Yankees from time to time – which may also insight some colorful feedback as well.
As we have seen over the past decade, virtualization has transformed the data center as much as any other single technology. Virtualization has brought flexibility and agility to the data center, while reducing the capital expenses required to stand up and maintain the physical environments. This evolution has transformed the value associated with being able to manage complex data center environments through software.
Virtualization is not a free lunch
However, as is the case with many evolutions, these changes have introduced new challenges for IT. The single largest operational cost of managing data centers today is the cost of management and administration of virtual servers. So in many respects the benefits and capital cost savings of virtualization have placed even greater pressure on the ever shrinking IT operational budget.
Why is this happening if virtualization allows users to manage through flexible software? The cause is that virtual environments and assets need to be connected to the underlying physical devices. Often times as dynamic virtualization environments change rapidly, IT staffs are strained to update and reconfigure the underlying connections to the physical devices.
A single pane of glass to manage both worlds
A differentiated approach to help IT organizations more effectively manage the data center is essential to addressing their challenges, and key to that is how physical and virtual environments must be managed together while always aware of each other’s state.
Just as software controls the virtual environment, it should also be connected to the underlying physical devices and the connectivity to virtual environments. Cisco has transformed the way IT manages the relationship between virtual assets and their underlying physical devices. With software such as UCS Manager and Cloupia, IT can dynamically manage physical and virtual assets from a single pane of glass.
Cloupia is the most recent acquisition for Cisco’s Data Center business and is truly a game changer. As our customers look to migrate from standalone infrastructure to a virtual world, to private cloud and hybrid cloud , as well as public cloud, this easy-to-deploy infrastructure management provides provisioning for the physical AND the virtual, across the server, the network, and storage.
Listen to my recent conversation with Dominick Delfino, Sr. Director, leading our Global Data Center Architecture Technology team during Cisco Live Europe in London.
IP Address Management and the Cloud is a topic that requires solution architecture for every cloud deployment. While Cisco IA for Cloud has a basic in-built IPAM system out of the box, often times we find customers need one of the worlds highest scale IPAM solutions. Cisco’s Prime Network Registrar is one such product in this category.
The follow blog is from our guest Blogger, Jim Kao of the Cloud & Systems Management Technology Group Product Management team.
Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) is a cloud management platform for Enterprise IT or Service Providers to build cloud services, such as IaaS. You can learn more about it here. The IAC solution supports a customer’s cloud journey by providing a solution that is extensible, scalable and easy to use in order to help them reduce the operation costs, optimize their resource utilization and efficiency.
One of the areas that are critical to customer’s infrastructure growth is IP Address Management (IPAM.) This is especially critical to large enterprise or service providers who need a scalable and extensible IPAM solution. Cisco Prime IPAM is the solution that provides strong IPAM management capability as described in Jamie Lerner’s blog. With these two best of breed products both coming from Cisco and both aiming to give customers scalable management solutions, it makes perfect sense to build integration between the two products. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce an integration recently made available by our engineering team to integrate CIAC and Cisco Prime IPAM. This integration will be made available to customers as part of the latest release of IAC, 3.1.1.
To explain what we have done, the following figure shows the high level end-to-end use case:
In this use case, it starts with a user ordering a virtual machine from a cloud built with Cisco IAC. This order is handled through the Cisco Cloud Portal (CCP) and Cisco Process Orchestrator (CPO). In the case where a customer has Cisco Prime IPAM, IAC will obtain an IP Address from the Cisco Prime IPAM. Before IAC invokes the API to acquire an IP address, the Prime IPAM shows the first available IP address is 192.168.10.9, as shown in the following figure:
We had some sneak peeks at CiscoLive in London but as you probably know by now, this stuff was just formally announced last week. Several demos worth looking at give you the foundation for what is important. Shashi Kiran is leading this effort and you can always count on a good quote:
“Cisco takes Unified Fabric to the next level delivering compelling customer value in an evolutionary manner, we offer a switch with the industry’s highest 40GbE density per rack unit, the simplest solution for the hybrid cloud model, and the most extensible network controller.”
Interesting….tell us more…
Three areas of innovation: How we Scale (Nexus 6000), how we enable the Hybrid deployment model (Nexus 1000v InterCloud) and how we open it all up with Cisco ONE (Open Networking Environment)
Cloud computing is part of the journey to deliver IT as a Service which enables IT to change from a cost center to a business strategic partner. Forrester Research recently published a report that concluded, “Cloud computing is ready for the enterprise… but many enterprises aren’t ready for the cloud.”1 Yet Cloud deployments are happening – and I mean all types of Clouds – Private, Public and Hybrid. In other words, we have entered the World of Many Clouds.
Network touches everything and is a key building block for agile and scalable virtualized and Cloud-based data centers. Yesterday, I have introduced our new Nexus 6000 series and new 40 GE extensions to Nexus 5500 and 2000 Series. Today, I would like to introduce the very first services module for the Nexus 7000 Series.